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GI (Gastrointestinal) Soft Diet

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Aug 31, 2022.

What do I need to know about a GI soft diet?

A GI soft diet is prescribed by your healthcare provider to allow your intestines (bowels) to heal. Your bowels may need it before a procedure, after surgery, or because of a medical condition. The food in a GI soft diet keeps your bowels from working too hard. The diet gives you nutrition while allowing your bowels time to heal or rest.

What foods can I eat on a GI soft diet?

Your healthcare provider may tell you to keep your fiber intake to less than 10 grams each day.

  • Grains: Choose grains that have less than 2 grams of fiber in each serving. Examples include the following:
    • Cream of wheat and finely ground grits
    • Dry cereal made from rice
    • White bread, white pasta, and white rice
    • Crackers, bagels, and rolls made from white or refined flour
  • Fruits and vegetables:
    • Canned and well-cooked fruit without skins or seeds, and juice without pulp
    • Ripe bananas and soft melon
    • Canned and well-cooked vegetables without skins or seeds, and strained vegetable juice
    • Potatoes without skin
  • Dairy:
    • Cow's milk, lactose-free milk, soy milk, and rice milk
    • Cottage cheese and yogurt without nuts, fruit, or granola
  • Protein:
    • Eggs, fish, and tender, well-cooked poultry (such as chicken and turkey) and beef
    • Tofu and smooth peanut butter

What foods should I avoid?

The following foods are hard to digest:

  • Breads, cereals, crackers, and pasta made with whole wheat or whole grains (such as whole oats)
  • Brown rice, wild rice, quinoa, kasha, and barley
  • All fresh fruit with skin, except banana and melons
  • Dried fruits and fruit juice with pulp
  • Canned and fresh pineapple
  • Raw vegetables
  • Nuts, seeds, and popcorn
  • Beans, nuts, peas, and lentils
  • Tough meats
  • Coconut and avocado

What else do I need to know about a GI soft diet?

A GI soft diet can decrease the amount of bowel movements you have. Drink liquids as directed to avoid constipation. Ask how much liquid to drink each day and which liquids are best for you. Do not drink liquids with your meal. Wait until 30 minutes after your meal to drink liquids.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare provider to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.